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Disabled American Veterans celebrates centennial anniversary

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Disabled American Veterans is celebrating its centennial anniversary

DAV Chapter 118 presents Judge-Executive Kevin Neal with a check for $1,000 to go towards the purchase of a new van to better serve the veterans of the Marshall County area. Pictured, from left, are Neal, Mitch Henson, James Parrell, George Fichter, Jada McWilliams and John Brinkley.

In 2020, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is celebrating its Centennial anniversary and 100 years of service to veterans and their families.

A century ago, more than 200,000 veterans wounded in the trenches of WW1 came home and the nation was shocked at the horror of injuries caused by mechanized and chemical warfare. Many of these soldiers were kept alive due to advancements in medical technology, but many required a lifetime of care. The government was unprepared for this reality, and the men who had been hailed as heroes were slipping through the cracks of the scattered group of agencies responsible for veteran care. There was no single government program like today’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No government department or agency could claim overall responsibility for the veterans.

At a Christmas party in downtown Cincinnati in 1919, Judge Robert S. Marx and a small group of his fellow WW1 veterans had the idea of forming an organization that would seek to improve medical care, benefits and job training for injured veterans.

In 1920, the Disabled Veterans of the Work Ware (now DAV) was founded and headed by Marx, who summed up the need for DAV by saying, “We had a common experience which bound us together and we are out to continue through an organization of our own….an organization of us, by us and for us.”

With 100 years of service and support, DAV continues to face the ongoing fight for medical treatment, employment and earned benefits for America’s four million disabled veterans, who need help today.

With more than one million members, 52 state-level departments and nearly 13 local chapters, DAV continues to be a force nationwide for veterans of all eras through DAV’s services and programs.

The DAV Chapter 118 located in the Marshall County courthouse serves the Benton community. They are available to help any veteran file VA disability claims, provide rides to medical appointments and help with other resources designed to assist veterans.

Contact Commander Jada McWilliams at 270-205-5294 for more information about DAV Centennial events in Benton.